Degas: Impressionist Aesthetics

Kant characterizes the principle of nature's purposiveness in avariety of different ways which he seems to treat as interchangeableeven though they do not, on the face of it, come to the samething. The variety of characterizations stems in part from the varietyof different tasks he seems to ascribe to reflecting judgmentitself. In addition to being responsible for aesthetic judgments, andto supplying the concept of purposiveness which is required forteleological judgments, reflecting judgment seems to be ascribed thefollowing cognitive tasks: the classification of natural things into ahierarchy of genera and species; the construction of explanatoryscientific theories in which more specific natural laws arerepresented as falling under higher and more general laws; therepresentation of nature as empiricallylawlike überhaupt; and the formation of empiricalconcepts überhaupt. Because the principle of nature'spurposiveness is, in effect, the principle that nature is amenable tothe activity of reflecting judgment itself, it seems to allow of beingformulated in a corresponding variety of ways, that is, as a principleof nature's taxonomic systematicity, of its explanatory systematicity,of its empirical lawlikeness, and of its empiricalconceptualizability.

Four Essays On Aesthetics Toward A Global ..

Last but not least, in the context of feminist philosophical aesthetics, I maintain that Foucault's late aesthetics strengthens those counter-tendencies in philosophical aesthetics that have sought to overcome the earlier limitations of "high" (Kantian) aesthetics by including in the notion of aesthetic subjectivity the "lower" dimensions of human existence such as sexuality, affectiveness, desire, and the body. Because of the fact that it is exactly these aspects of subjectivity that have been excluded from philosophical mainstream definitions of aesthetic subjectivity (as "feminine" or "female" characteristics, in contrast to the idealization of "disinterested" male rationality), it is, in an important sense, these very aspects that are also of great use in attempts to deconstruct the theoretical tools and methods of aesthetic research to better meet the challenges of contemporary critical thinking and art.


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Kant himself clearly takes his aesthetic theory to be of centralimportance for the understanding of the so-called “faculty ofjudgment” generally (see above): thisimplies that he takes it to be of importance for understandingempirical scientific enquiry, and in particular for our understandingof biological phenomena. As noted in above, there are also significant connections between Kant's views onaesthetics and his views on ethics. A number of commentators have, inaddition, laid special weight on the connection between Kant'saesthetics and his views on empirical cognition. In particular, Bell(1987) and Ginsborg (1990, 1997 and 2006) have argued that Kant'saccount of empirical cognition depends on his account of theexperience of beauty. The idea that a full understanding of Kant'sviews on cognition depends on taking seriously his account ofaesthetics is becoming increasingly widely accepted; see theintroduction to Kukla (2006), a collection of essays exploring theconnection between aesthetics and cognition in Kant. However, it isby no means uncontroversial that Kant's aesthetics makes a substantivecontribution to his theory of cognition more generally. Guyeremphasizes the role played by the third Critique in supporting Kant'smoral theory, in explicit contrast to the suggestion that it wasintended to fill an “imaginary gap in his epistemology”(2009, 215).


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Essays on the history of aesthetics (Book, 1992) …

The notion of the aesthetic attitude has been attacked from allcorners and has very few remaining sympathizers. George Dickie iswidely regarded as having delivered the decisive blow in his essay“The Myth of the Aesthetic Attitude” (Dickie 1964) byarguing that all purported examples of interested or distancedattention are really just examples of inattention. So consider the caseof the spectator at a performance of Othello who becomesincreasingly suspicious of his own wife as the action proceeds, or the caseof the impresario who sits gauging the size of the audience, or thecase of the father who sits taking pride in his daughter’sperformance, or the case of the moralist who sits gauging the moraleffects the play is apt to produce in its audience. These and all suchcases will be regarded by the attitude theorist as cases of interestedor distanced attention to the performance, when they are actuallynothing but cases of inattention to the performance: the jealoushusband is attending to his wife, the impresario to the till, thefather to his daughter, the moralist to the effects of the play. But ifnone of them is attending to the performance, then none of them isattending to it disinterestedly or with distance (Dickie 1964,57–59).

Essays on the history of aesthetics

Kant's view that the pleasure in a beautiful object is non-conceptualhas been taken to commit him to the objectionable view that thecapacity to make conceptual distinctions can play no role in theappreciation of beauty. This criticism is addressed in Janaway (1997).Relatedly, it has been objected Kant does not allow room forreason-giving, and more generally, criticism in aesthetics; thatobjection is addressed in Crawford (1970) and (on lines suggested byCrawford) in Wilson (2007).